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Showing posts from August, 2010

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is being adapted into a film for release in the next year or so.  The film has quite a bit of critical buzz flying around it even though no one's seen it yet.  The book itself was critically acclaimed as is most of Ishiguro's work apparently.   One reviewer called it a "gothic tour de force."  Now I'm reading this book and I'm thinking, this isn't gothic.  Because when I think gothic I think horror and supernatural and evil.  And I also think I should know because I took a class in Gothic and Horror Literature in college.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I remembered what gothic means in literature and art: the natural order of things in the world is twisted and reversed and turned upside down.  Now.  By that definition, Never Let Go is indeed gothic because things in its world are majorly and sadly twisted.

Kathy H. has been a carer for the past twelve years and she's tired--she's ready to begin th…

Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen

Nobody knows who Sam's father is except for Blind Beezy and she's not telling. I know it wasn't Carl Bell. (Thank the Lord. I've seen pictures of him. The man looked like he got dropped off a bridge at dawn and nobody bothered picking him up 'til dusk.)
from page 113
This is the second novel I've read by Lesley Kagen, the previous one, Whistling In The Dark, was previously reviewed on this blog. There were others between Whistling and Tomorrow River, but I haven't read them. It seems Kagen has found a niche in the use of the child or child-like narrator for her novels. In some ways this can provide for entertaining and lively writing because sometimes only a child can believably and colorfully make certain observations and tell it like it is. In other ways it's frustrating because many times the reader can make so many more leaps in piecing the story together and ends up knowing so much more than the narrator due to the observations and accounts s…

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

A Treasury of Royal Scandals by Michael Farquhar

The title of Michael Farquhar's A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes and Emperors pretty much says all you need to know about this entertaining little tome. The stories related about different monarchs and popes are wicked, wild, shocking, salacious, sometimes amusing, and other times disturbing. Some categories of chapters seem heavily weighted towards representation of the English monarchy. This read is entertaining and only enhanced by the conversational, colorful writing style. People who enjoy stories starring royalty or are avid royal watchers will love this book.

Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton

Blood Harvest is S.J. Bolton's third release; she has another upcoming but just when it's coming out in the UK and then how long it takes to get to the States, I don't yet know. I haven't investigated that yet (and believe me I will...), but I have discovered her blog in which there are hints about the upcoming book and upcoming, possibly returning, characters. I can't wait. It'll be hard, but I'll survive. I just started Karin Slaughter's latest release, and I'm still waiting (somewhat apprehensively I might add) for Tess Gerritsen's newest title to come in on reserve.
Blood Harvest differs slightly from her previous titles, Sacrificeand Awakening, in that it has a third person narrator as opposed to a first person narrator. There are similarities, though; for example, one of main characters suffers from a physical handicap that leads to insecurity or reclusion, but since it's a third person narrator the reader doesn't have as much …


Occasionally I also review movies on this blog and, lately, it appears the books have taken over because it's been a long, long time since I've reviewed a movie. Recently I sat through the movie/musical Nine; I'm not sure why I sat through the entire movie because that's two hours of my life I'll never get back. I was hoping that the end would explain a couple things and that would make the whole two hours worth it. It didn't and it wasn't.
Nine is the latest movie musical directed by Rob Marshall of Chicago fame; he had a huge, critically acclaimed hit with that one. Not so much of either with Nine. Nine is based on a Broadway play, and it stars Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Marion Cotillard, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Oscar winners all, but even they couldn't save it. The immensely talented cast, specifically and especially the women, are disappointingly and sadly wasted, and they all deserve better than this.
Guido Contini, an unlikeable …

The Whisperers by John Connolly

If there was one thing Jimmy didn't care for, it was competition, ... There were some exceptions to that rule: he was rumored to have a sweet deal with the Mexicans, but he wasn't about to try to reason with the Dominicans, or the Columbians, or the bikers, or even the Mohawks. If they wanted to avail themselves of his services, as they sometimes did, that was fine, but if Jimmy Jewel started questioning their right to move product he and Earle would end up tied to chairs in the [bar] with pieces of themselves scattered by their feet, assuming their feet weren't among the scattered pieces, while the bar burned down around their ears, assuming they still had ears.from page 86
The Whisperers is John Connolly's newest Charlie Parker installment in which some beloved characters reappear and in which previous characters from another Parker installment reappear to shed further light on the big baddie that may or may not be coming for Parker in the future. This newest instal…